The Evergreen Pulp mill will pay $463,000 to settle state water quality regulators’ complaints over its discharge into the Pacific Ocean.

The mill discharges millions of gallons of wastewater daily into the ocean about 11/2 miles off the Samoa Peninsula and repeatedly violated the terms of its permit between March of 2005 and July of 2007. The violations are for effluent that essentially absorbs too much oxygen at the outfall, or has too many suspended solids in it.

The maximum penalty for the violations would be a staggering $59.3 billion, while the minimum that could be assessed is $77,000. Erik Spiess, senior council with the State Water Resources Control Board’s Office of Enforcement, said the $463,000 settlement reflects the $387,000 in economic benefits that the board estimates Evergreen got from not correcting the problems.

violations, in part, are for effluent that uses up too much oxygen where the pipe empties to the ocean, which can harm sea life. Called biological oxygen demand, the regulation was drafted to apply to discharges into lakes and rivers, where dilution plays a much smaller role than in an ocean.

Evergreen Vice President Rex Bohn said that the mill is working to improve treatment and filtration of its effluent.

”We are working on the problem on a daily basis,” Bohn said.